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Order Ceramiales

Family Ceramiaceae

Ceramium arenarium Simons 1966: 159, fig. 1:2, pl. 1:4

Plants (on the south coast) up to ca. 5 mm tall, in epilithic algal turfs, with extensive basal creeping axes. Cortication discontinuous, in apical parts with a very narrow space between cortical bands, in the creeping parts this space growing (much) longer. Cortical bands with the central cells about in the middle, upper and lower edge straight. Apices strongly incurved. Thallus dichotomously or subdichotomously branched at intervals of 6-10 cells. Attachment with several rhizoids from segments in the creeping part. Segments with 7 or 8 periaxial cells, each forming first two acropetal corticating group initials, then two basipetal corticating group initials. Periaxial cells remaining partly exposed. Axes to ca. 250 µm in diameter.

Tetrasporangia, when fully developed, in a whorl on subapical segments, remaining largely immersed, ovate, measuring ca. 65 x 45 µm at maturity, often two sporangia together on a periaxial cell. Other reproductive structures uncertain, but see Rull Lluch (2002).

Collections, ecology and regional distribution

Along the whole west coast (Stegenga et al. 1997) and the south coast as far as the East London area (1-41). A common constiutent of low, sand-binding turfs.

World distribution: Southern African endemic (also found to northern Namibia (Rull Lluch, 2002).

Type locality: Port Nolloth, Northern Cape Province, South Africa (Silva et al. 1996).


Ceramium arenarium. 1. Thallus apex. 2. Cortication in older segment. 3. Tetrasporangia. Reproduced from Stegenga et al. (1997).

Ceramium arenarium. Thallus apex. Stained slide, Woody Cape.

Ceramium arenarium. Older part with attachment filaments, stained slide.


References Ceramium arenarium

Rull Lluch, J. 2002. Marine benthic algae of Namibia. Scientia Marina 66 (Supplement 3): 258 pp.

Simons, R.H. (1966). The genus Ceramium in South Africa. Bothalia 9: 153-168, 3 figs, 2 plates.

Silva, P.C., Basson, P.W. & Moe, R.L. 1996. Catalogue of the benthic marine algae of the Indian Ocean. University of California Publications in Botany 79: 1-1259.

Stegenga, H., Bolton, J.J. & R. J. Anderson. 1997. Seaweeds of the South African west coast. Contributions from the Bolus Herbarium 18: 655 pp.


Cite this record as:

Anderson RJ, Stegenga H, Bolton JJ. 2016. Seaweeds of the South African South Coast.
World Wide Web electronic publication, University of Cape Town,; Accessed on 26 February 2024.